500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

by Geoffrey Smalling
February 23, 2017
5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

Loyalty programs continue to proliferate, while customers’ expectations continue to evolve. Program innovations are more important than ever, facilitating new ways for brands to focus on delivering seamless experiences when and where their best customers want them. In 500friends’s recent webinar, Geoffrey Smalling, CTO of 500friends, a Merkle Company, spoke about innovative ways, outlined below, that technology can facilitate collecting loyalty data to create experiential moments, keeping your loyalty members engaged and driving deep consumer value... Read more

When Navigating The Complex IoT Channel, Marketers Need To Think Big But Focus Narrowly

by Michael Hemsey
February 09, 2017
When Navigating The Complex IoT Channel, Marketers Need To Think Big But Focus Narrowly

The rise of artificial intelligence and its voice interface will force brands to scramble if they are to become the default recommendation for Alexa-type home devices. At the same time, increasingly effective face-and-gesture recognition will capture real-time emotional responses that can influence buying decisions. And an influx of consumer data and connectedness suggests a marketing future of increased utility, robotics and hyperrelevant personalization. These trends will no doubt prove highly disruptive as more brands endeavor to become indispensable to consumers. I don’t think any brand will escape the impact of the internet of things (IoT). Whether it’s through fear of being left behind or envisioning how a brand’s literal and figurative fabric can be woven throughout consumers... Read more

[Webinar Series] Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification

by Julia Leyrer
May 14, 2015
[Webinar Series] Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification

We are excited to present our latest webinar series "Going Beyond Just Points: How your Loyalty Program Can Drive Actionable Insights" where we will explore how to leverage loyalty data in customer identification, engagement, and acquisition. The 1st webinar in this 3-part series, "Increase Matchback Rates Through Customer Identification", will be presented by Arif Damji, Senior Director of Strategy and Development, 500friends, a Merkle Company on Thursday May 21 at 10:00 PDT / 1:00 EDT. Large numbers of customer identities are currently unknown and brands struggle with linking together customer purchases, LTVs, and preference trends. Without the knowledge and understanding of who your customers are, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to drive customer satisfaction, enhance relevancy of messaging and offers, and increase order frequency and value. Loyalty data is th... Read more

Keeping Up With Today's Loyalty Demands

by Julia Leyrer
March 05, 2015
Keeping Up With Today's Loyalty Demands

Originally posted on IBM's Smarter Commerce blog: Loyalty marketing is more and more prominent in today’s retail landscape. It is becoming common knowledge that customer acquisition costs are increasingly rising, and data-driven customer retention is a key area filled with untapped growth potential. But loyalty marketing is evolving and is more intricate than just offering discounts to existing customers. As many marketers realize, there are three common problems that they run into when trying to implement an effective loyalty program: 1. They often feel stuck offering dollars-off discounts and are losing their margins without sustainably changing their customer behavior. 2. Personalization is not going further than using much more than a first and last name, and is not connecting to the customer and building customer relationships. 3. Their loyalty members are not actively participating and being engaged, and… Read more

When Should You Start Thinking About Loyalty?

by Lauren Chan
November 11, 2014
When Should You Start Thinking About Loyalty?

How do you know when it’s time to start thinking about loyalty? Investing in loyalty is a big decision but has great rewards if deployed correctly and efficiently. Loyalty is a solution for companies who want to drive incremental lift and better understand their customers. If you are contemplating whether or not loyalty is the right solution for your company, ask yourself these three questions: 1. Is your cost of customer acquisition high (and your customer retention rate low)? Most retailers, if not all, will answer yes to this question. With methods like search engine marketing and paid search advertising, the cost of acquiring a customer is skyrocketing and hurting profitability. Today, brands must focus more on retention rather than acquisition. In the long-run, shifting your efforts towards retention will be more profitable as you will encourage repurchase rather than a one-time purchase... Read more

Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

by Justin Yoshimura
August 15, 2014
Why I Like Facebooks Ban on Rewarding Likes: Better Data

You might think that, as CEO of a company that powers loyalty programs for over 50 retailers, I would be upset about Facebook’s recent announcement that the company will prohibit rewarding "likes" with incentives, monetary or otherwise. In fact, I'm a big fan of Facebook's move. For one thing, Facebook has restricted incentivizing social actions for years, so the new policy language only clarifies that stance. Also, I've long advised marketers against directly rewarding likes—500friends loyalty software actually disallows it—not only because it lives in a Facebook policy gray area, but also because it just feels wrong, and not in keeping with most brands' values. But the biggest reason I like Facebook’s like-rewarding ban? It has to do with the real value that Facebook offers for retailers. Some would say that's attention or traffic, but I disagree. It’s data. All-encompassing, personalizat... Read more

Loyalty + Predictive Analytics = Personalization: The 500friends / AgilOne Partnership

by Andrew R.
June 24, 2014
Loyalty + Predictive Analytics = Personalization: The 500friends / AgilOne Partnership

In this video, recorded at IRCE 2014, 500friends Director of Strategy and Development Arif Damji talks about how 500friends LoyaltyPlus and AgilOne's predictive analytics help retailers personalize customer experiences and offers.... Read more

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